The Decorist DesignOff is really heating up! When we first told you about this super fun design competition between bloggers Joanna Hawley and Kyla Herbes, we’ll admit that we had really high hopes. But we had no clue what Decorist designers Jessica McCarthy and Ashley Redmond had up their sleeves! (Spoiler: it’s better than we could have imagined.) First, we were treated to two amazing design boards per gal; how could you choose? But the final designs have been selected — after a neck & neck vote from each blog’s following — and the 3D renderings are here. We’ve got one word: WOW.

We’re really impressed with the entire process. (And honestly, shocked at how real the 3D renderings look. Decorist really is bringing new meaning to the term “virtual design”.) We wanted to hear from the designers themselves. Read on to see how Jessica & Ashley tackled this project:

Decorist Designer, Jessica McCarthy

“I had absolutely the best time working with Joanna! She had such a vision of the type of space she wanted but just needed my help getting there. Our goals for the space was creating something new and different while using a majority of Joanna’s existing furniture and accessories. Luckily, Joanna has amazing taste and a great eye so incorporating her existing pieces was a pretty seamless process. We originally were only planning on making over her living room, but after seeing the way her dining room connected, we knew the best decision was to tackle both to really create an overall cohesive space. The new items we sourced for the space were rugs, pillows, drapes, lighting, extra seating, side tables, desk chair, dining table, dining chairs, door hardware and paint! The whole design process was completely collaborative, Joanna would text me a picture and say “hey what do you think of this” and I would give my feedback. We truly had the best time together from early mornings going over the initial plans, to late night texts obsessing over vintage rugs.

The most challenging part of this process was creating a cohesive look while having to mix Joanna’s existing pieces with new pieces. Also, we knew we wanted to go with a vintage rug layered over a textured rug for her living room. The hunt for the perfect vintage rug was on! We went through so many rugs with potential patterns, colors sizes etc. until we finally came across the most amazing and unique rug, it was worth the wait and felt like it was made just for this space!

I have two favorite pieces, one is a skull that Joanna picked up on her travels. The second is the awesome vintage desk chair we found that we are reupholstering with vintage black mud cloth. I love that these items are specific to just Joanna and can be an inspiration for other people to create something that works perfectly for their space. Sometimes the item that you are envisioning for your space doesn’t exist, and you need to create it yourself!

This experience with Joanna is one I will never forget, I am so excited to have been of assistance to help her create her dream space and can absolutely not wait to see how it all comes together!”

Learn more about this design on Joanna’s blog here. 

Decorist Head of Design, Ashley Redmond

“For Kyla’s living room I really wanted the space to reflect a pulled together, glam but natural vibe. I liked the idea of playing with shiny brass pieces like the etagere and side tables juxtaposed with more natural textures which we pulled in with the rattan chair and the driftwood end table. The goal of the room was to balance what is typically a “formal living room” in Kyla’s floor plan with a more comfortable, but still elegant room for her to enjoy a book and morning coffee and for her kids to feel comfortable hanging out in. Luckily Kyla and I have a very similar design sensibility and having worked with her in the past I had a good sense of what she was hoping to achieve for the space. Natural Glam was definitely the name of the game!

My favorite part of the process (besides working with Kyla and our late night wine and design collaborations via email) was creating a new space for her incorporating her existing items with a few new pieces mixed in. Kyla has amazing taste, so it was great for me to repurpose some of the things she had in her old house in new ways in a new space. Throwing in some new textiles, art, accessories and a few new furniture pieces really made everything old new again!

Favorite pieces? Too many to count! Kyla and I are both in love with the art from Tappan- its soft and calming and creates a great thread between the glam brass and the natural woods we have going on. I also love the natural drift wood table, anytime I can bring the outside into a space I am a happy designer! Overall I love the space and I hope Kyla and her family do to.”

Learn more about this design on Kyla’s blog here.

See our past posts on the Decorist DesignOff here and here.